The Mostly True Story of Jack

The Mostly True Story of Jack

Book - 2011
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Jack is practically invisible at home, but when his parents send him to Hazelwood, Iowa, to spend a summer with his odd aunt and uncle, he suddenly makes friends, is beaten up by the town bully, and is plotted against by the richest man in town.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316056700
0316056707
Branch Call Number: BARNHILL K
Characteristics: 323 p. ; 20 cm

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litriocht Jun 17, 2014

There are no princesses or castles in this darkly original fairy tale. In Hazelwood, missing children are forgotten, just as photographs & records of them are erased. As the Lady who guards the magic awakens, the town becomes an increasingly dangerous place to live. One mom attempts to flee with her child to safety; the forces behind dark magic in Hazelwood simply direct her back to her own driveway, over and over again. There is no escape. Jack and the other children--Wendy, Frankie, Anders, and Clayton--are stuck and must cope with the consequences of their ancestors' decisions.

Barnhill's creepy storyline stays with a reader long after the book is finished. An unsettling but fitting ending to the story leaves the door open for more. Sequel? Yes, please!

f
ftop77
May 14, 2014

Amazing story! It was deep and a little hard to understand, but other wise a great and heart-warming story of a boy trying to find where he belonged.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

Really, at the heart of things, Jack wants--has always wanted--just one thing: To be totally and fully loved. To be noticed and understood. To belong. To have friends and family members that each say, "You are Mine," and to mean it with a capital "M".

Unfortunately, he seems to be getting the exact opposite. He has always felt invisible, not noticed at all by most people and barely noticed by his parents. Now his mom and dad are divorcing, and his mom is taking him to stay with his aunt and uncle until everything settles down. In a small town in the middle of nowhere Iowa. And his mom won't even give him a hug or look him in the eye as she leaves him. Invisible and unwanted.

He quickly learns Hazelwood is a strange place and his aunt and uncle are strange people. They talk of magic as though it is real, which Jack knows can't be the case. True, his letters and phone calls to his parents keep getting misdirected, as does his attempt to leave town on his own. But that's just strangeness, not magic. Right? But the evidence keeps piling up until Jack can no longer deny there might be something to it. And the magic and strangeness all seems to be centered on . . . him.

I loved many of the elements of this book, but they never quite gelled into the truly satisfying whole I was hoping for. Good enough to recommend, good enough to keep following the author, just not quite a home run. There was a lot of promise, but the plot, characters, and atmosphere all needed to be just a bit more, well, magical.

a
aBellyDancer
Aug 14, 2012

I enjoyed this story about finding your place in the world and believing in what's (mostly) true, plausible or not.

branch_reviews Apr 21, 2012

12 year old Jack is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Hazelwood, Iowa as a result of his parent’s separation. Jack has always felt invisible – at school, at home – it’s as if he doesn’t exist until he gets to Hazelwood, where everyone sees him. He doesn’t know what to make of the attention he is getting, not to mention how odd his aunt and uncle are turning out to be. The town is surrounded in mystery and the more Jack finds out about the mysterious magic flowing through the town, the more he finds himself at the centre of the mystery. Determined to find out what is going on in this strange town, Jack and his new friends set out to solve the mystery.
Reviewed by TC

LocketLibrarian Aug 29, 2011

This is a very well done fairy tale/fantasy.

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APlasterer Jun 11, 2013

APlasterer thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

LocketLibrarian Aug 29, 2011

LocketLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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whiteshadow13 Jun 06, 2012

Jack is practically invisible at home, but when his parents send him to Hazelwood, Iowa, to spend a summer with his odd aunt and uncle, he suddenly makes friends, is beaten up by the town bully, and is plotted against by the richest man in town.

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JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

There is no utter truth or utter falsehood in this world. There is only mostly. Which part of the mostly you choose to accept, well, that much is up to you.

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